Manchester United youngster Hannibal Mejbri was in action for Tunisia last night.
Having switched allegiance from France recently, who he represented at youth level, Hannibal has been fast tracked into the Tunisia national team.
Hannibal started as Tunisia took on Mali in an international friendly on Tuesday night.
This was his third appearance for Tunisia and first start for his country.
He had made his debut as a half-time substitute against DR Congo earlier this month and then played 12 minutes from the bench against Algeria.
Speaking after the game he referred to the 2-0 defeat to Algeria, commenting: “We were able to react after the defeat and that is the most important. It feels good to play for your country.”
Hannibal played 70 minutes against Mali before being substituted with the game 0-0.
Tunisia went on to score an injury time winner before Mali had a player sent off, winning 1-0.
Hannibal’s Tunisia are ranked 26th in the FIFA World Rankings. This places them above Turkey (29), Russia (38), and Scotland (44).
The Manchester United youngster appears to have made a good impression, earning his first start.
Hannibal played a calm game in midfield, dropping deep and trying to influence the game and winning free-kicks when he ventured forward.
Tunisia resume the next part of their World Cup qualifying campaign in September and Hannibal will hope to play a prominent role in these competitive games.
The 18-year-old made his Manchester United debut at the end of last season and he will be anxious to have a pathway which reflects his development.
This may mean a more regular first team promotion or a possible loan move.
It is very encouraging to see Hannibal’s progress on the international stage and while he will now head off on his holidays, he will return to United full of confidence and with a spring in his step.
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